|Publication number||US6883144 B2|
|Application number||US 09/981,398|
|Publication date||Apr 19, 2005|
|Filing date||Oct 17, 2001|
|Priority date||Jun 26, 2001|
|Also published as||US20020196295, US20020198876|
|Publication number||09981398, 981398, US 6883144 B2, US 6883144B2, US-B2-6883144, US6883144 B2, US6883144B2|
|Inventors||Paul Zielinski, John D. Haley|
|Original Assignee||Siemens Medical Solutions Health Services Corporation|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (15), Non-Patent Citations (8), Referenced by (23), Classifications (16), Legal Events (5)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
This application is co-pending with commonly owned related application, Ser. No. 09/975,681 filed Oct. 11, 2001.
This is a non-provisional application of provisional application Ser. No. 60/300,893 by J. Haley et al. filed Jun. 26, 2001 and of provisional application Ser. No. 60/307,193 by J. Haley et al. filed Jul. 23, 2001.
This invention concerns a system and user interface supporting multiple different executable applications employing user customizable expressions for determining computable values or searching for records, for example.
It is desirable for software applications executing on PCs, servers and other processing devices for business or other purposes to offer users the capability of customizing application functions to meet specific customer needs. To this end, it is advantageous to allow an application to support the use of a user customizable expression to determine particular decision logic to be used by the application. Such an expression may take various forms and may include algebraic elements for implementing a variety of functions including, for example, computing a value or range of values, defining search criteria for performing a record search as well as defining a statement to be verified. In a health care payment processing system, a user may enter a customizable expression to estimate an insurance company reimbursement sum for a particular procedure, or to search for particular patient records or to verify particular eligibility criteria of a specific patient, or for many other purposes, for example.
A number of problems arise in offering a user the capability of customizing expressions for use with one or more software applications. These include the difficulty posed in providing a user interface that is straightforward to use by a person who is not a software programmer and yet provides the capability to implement any function that the user may desire. Other difficulties arise in integrating the entered expression with the associated software application in a manner that allows execution of the application together with the expression in an efficient manner without significant degradation in execution speed. A further difficulty arises in maintaining multiple expressions (perhaps hundreds or thousands of expressions) associated with multiple different applications and managing the update, editing and replacement of expressions. An expression may become obsolete, for example, if data used by an associated application is changed.
One known system allows a user to define an expression for use with an application by employing an extensive decision matrix of available customizable expression options and associated data to be used with the expression options. This approach limits the expressions that may be used to those supported by the decision matrix and results in the creation of a complex matrix that is not user friendly. Another known system allows a user to define an expression using SQL (Structured Query Language) in the form of stored procedures to determine desired decision logic. This has the disadvantage of being difficult to use since it requires expertise to produce efficient SQL procedures and also typically exposes a user to the complexities involved in the data relationships between the expression and the application that uses it. It also bypasses the abstraction and data integrity rules that are written into the application business objects.
A system according to invention principles addresses these problems and derivative problems.
A user friendly interface system enables a user to incorporate, in an executable application, custom decision logic in the form of an expression involving a high-level script language. A system supports use of user customizable expressions by a plurality of different executable applications. The system involves a database for associating a particular application of the plurality of different executable applications with a particular data item of a plurality of selectable data items available for incorporation in a user entered expression and for excluding use by the particular application of another data item of the plurality of selectable data items. An interface processor receives a user entered expression and incorporates the particular data item in the user entered expression to provide a resultant expression for use by the particular application. An expression processor uses data from the particular application in resolving the resultant expression to provide a result.
The high-level, user friendly, easy to understand script language advantageously used to enter customizable expression decision logic shields users from the underlying complexities involved in incorporating a user defined expression within an application (such as involved in using JAVA or SQL, for example). It is also adaptable to meet different requirements and obviates any need to anticipate the many ways a user may formulate expressions to process data. The high level script language also facilitates the provision of a user interface that is straightforward to use by a member of the general public and yet provides the capability to implement any function that the user may desire.
The customizable expression processing system also supports an efficient method of maintaining and executing user entered customizable expressions in conjunction with associated business applications. This method advantageously involves version numbering expressions so that a latest expression version may be dynamically identified and compiled together with an associated business application. This is done to ensure execution speed of the composite application comprising the business application plus latest desired expression is not degraded. The version numbering system also supports the maintenance of multiple expressions as well as the use of an expression by multiple different applications and may also be used to ensure that a business application uses the same version of an expression throughout the lifetime of the business application. Further, the disclosed system enables restriction and control of the data that is exposed to a user for entry in an expression and supports association of descriptive information with items of data exposed to users. In addition multiple user selectable template expressions are provided for user alteration advantageously facilitating the user interface process.
The principles of the invention may be applied to any system and applications involving user entry of resolvable expressions to modify application function. Further, although the preferred embodiment is described as being implemented in JAVA, and XML this is exemplary only. The system may be implemented in a variety of different languages as the principles of the invention are independent of languages used.
In the system of
Application 30 allocates both a Type and Group identifier to an expression entered by a user via the PC user interface 10 display menu associated with the application interface 25. The Type identifier identifies a specification used to define the input and output parameters that are received or provided by an application 30 procedure involved in processing the entered expression. An application such as application 30 typically comprises one or more procedures (termed objects) such as objects 31 and 33 of FIG. 1. In more complex embodiments multiple application 30 procedures (e.g., objects 33 of
A high level script language expression entered by a user via the PC interface 10 display menu associated with the application interface 25 is retained, together with a user entered identification name for the expression, in application server storage 14. Application 30 operating on the server initiates compilation of the high level script language expression into code of a particular JAVA class executable in conjunction with compiled application 30 in response to receiving the user entered expression. In other embodiments, application 30 may initiate compilation using a different (i.e., non-Java) language compiler and upon other events including, for example, a convenient processing point when interruption of application 30 is not disruptive or upon collection of several expressions, for example. The entered expression is compiled into a JAVA class determined based on the Type and Group identifiers previously allocated to the entered expression by application 30. The resultant compiled expression is in the form of a JAVA class source file. Further, since application 30 is a JAVA application, application 30 and the compiled expression operate together with negligible degradation in speed. Application 30 initiates compilation of the entered expression using expression compiler 20 which in turn employs JAVA compiler 21 operating in conjunction with a SUN Microsystems tool JAVACC (a JAVA parser generator—unit 26) downloadable from Sun Microsystems web site with negligible degradation in speed associated with data marshalling.
Unit 20 applies the Type and Group identifiers previously allocated to the user entered expression by application 30 in compiling the expression into a particular selected JAVA class file. Further, unit 23 allocates a version number to the compiled JAVA class file so that a latest expression version may be dynamically identified and compiled together with business application 30 and associated application objects 31 and 33. This enables the latest compiled version of the expression to be identified and used at application 30 execution time. Thereby execution speed of the composite application comprising application 30 including objects 31 and 33 together with the compiled expression is not degraded. The resultant compiled JAVA class file is stored in accordance with allocated Type, Group and version attributes in unit 17 for access and loading of the latest expression version together with application object 31 (and other objects 33) upon initiation of execution of application 30.
In operation, application 30 calls an application object 31 procedure for evaluating a user created expression stored in unit 17 in response to user initiation of expression evaluation via interface 25. For this purpose application 30 employs the Type and Group identifiers associated, both with the application interface 25, and with the expression to be evaluated, for use in accessing this expression stored in unit 17. The identified compiled expression is therefore accessed from unit 17 and executed using data provided by application object 31. In this manner application 30 controls the linking of compiled JAVA class expressions in unit 17 with application objects 31 and 33 for creating a composite executable compiled application. Therefore application 30 governs the operation timing and use of created expressions. Further, application 30 also initiates generation of user interface windows and menus to support users entry, amendment and maintenance of an expression. It should be noted that in another embodiment a user entered expression may be interpreted (rather than compiled) in response to initiation of execution of application 30. Though this approach may involve a reduction in application 30 execution speed.
An illustrative business application display window for use in displaying an expression employed by an application interface (such as by application interface 25 of application 30) is shown in FIG. 6. The application interface display window 570 of
In step 306 of
In step 324, the server system compiles the received expression and associates the compiled expression with a version identifier and an application Type and Group identifier before storing the compiled expression in step 326. Alternatively, the expression may be associated with one or more of the version identifier, application Type and Group identifier before compilation as described in connection with
The generated display image also includes a prompt element 700 supporting user entry of an expression identification name and a window 725 indicating acceptable values, parameters and ranges of values and parameters for a data item selected via window 710. The generated display image further includes a window 726 permitting user selection from a set of expression operators available for inclusion in an expression entered by a user via prompt element 500. The set of expression operators available for inclusion is specifically associated with application interface 25 and application 30 in a similar fashion to the set data items in window 710. Icons 715 and 719 enable a user to initiate exit from the expression entry display menu of
In step 407 of
A user edits the populated expression in display element 500 to meet his requirements and upon completion of editing, selects an exit option (command 533). Exit options are initiated via user selection of icons 715, 717 or 719 (FIGS. 5 and 7). User selection of icon 717 initiates a syntax check of the expression which results in either successful validation of the expression or user notification of a syntax error by a displayed message. Similarly, user selection of icon 715 initiates a syntax check of the expression which also results in either successful validation notification to a user or user notification of a syntax error by a displayed message. However, successful expression syntax validation in response to selection of icon 715 also results in exit from the display menu of FIG. 7. User selection of icon 719 results in discarding non-stored data and exit from the display menu of FIG. 7. Following creation of an expression using the interaction and navigation procedure of
The architecture, user interfaces and processes presented in
JAVA code incorporated into a non-JAVA application capable of invoking the JAVA code and executing customer provided expression decision logic.
JAVA—A simple, object-oriented, distributed, robust, secure architecture neutral, multizhreaded language, additional information is available via Java associated websites on the Internet.
Extensible Markup Language (XML)—this is an important Internet standard used to encode structured data passed between computer systems. The World Wide Web Consortium maintains this public standard. Additional information is available at web sites associated with the consortium on tile Internet.
JAVACC—Java parser generator. Additional information is available at Java associated websites on the Internet.
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|U.S. Classification||715/765, 715/846, 715/810, 715/236, 715/835, 707/999.107, 707/999.104|
|International Classification||G06F7/00, G06F9/44, G06F3/00, G06F9/46, G09G5/00|
|Cooperative Classification||Y10S707/99948, Y10S707/99945, G06F9/45512|
|Oct 17, 2001||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: SIEMENS MEDICAL SOLUTIONS HEALTH SERVICES CORPORAT
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:HALEY, JOHN D.;ZIELINSKI, PAUL;REEL/FRAME:012284/0707
Effective date: 20011015
|Jan 24, 2007||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: SIEMENS MEDICAL SOLUTIONS USA, INC., PENNSYLVANIA
Free format text: MERGER;ASSIGNOR:SIEMENS MEDICAL SOLUTIONS HEALTH SERVICES CORPORATION.;REEL/FRAME:018797/0141
Effective date: 20061221
|Sep 5, 2008||FPAY||Fee payment|
Year of fee payment: 4
|Sep 13, 2012||FPAY||Fee payment|
Year of fee payment: 8
|Feb 6, 2015||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: CERNER INNOVATION, INC., KANSAS
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:SIEMENS MEDICAL SOLUTIONS USA, INC.;REEL/FRAME:034914/0523
Effective date: 20150202